KOCHI: The Department of Fisheries, in association with the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC), has decided to increase the number of premium outlets selling fishes and value-added fish products in the State.
Officials of the Department said that fresh fishes and value-added products were of high demand in the State. They said that the launch of the new outlets was expected to generate employment, and improve the income of fishermen.
KSCAD officials said that they were planning to start new premium outlets in Kochi also, which is the centre of fish trade in the State.
“The government has recently allotted `40 lakh for starting new outlets for selling fishes and value-added fish products. Our products are sold under the brand name ‘Fish Maid’. The brand was initially launched in the Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts. This year, we are planning to promote the brand across the State and in the other states,” they said.
More than 25 value-added products, including fish cutlet, fish roll, fish ‘samosa’, Fish burger, fish chips, fish lollipop and fish pickles, will be sold through the Fish Maid outlets.
Fisheries Department assistant director Parameshwaran T P said that fishermen could make more profit by selling the fishes directly to the government-owned outlets than by selling through auctions held in harbours.
In addition, the women in the fisherman community are being trained to prepare value-added products.
This will ensure permanent employment and regular source of income for them.
“One of the major concerns is that middlemen and retailers are enjoying the major portion of the profit made through fish sales. The retailer buy fishes from the fishermen and often sell them in the market at significantly higher prices than the original prices. At auctions, the middlemen often lower the price of the fishes. Against such a backdrop, fishermen never get the right price for their catch. The demand for value-added fish products is very high in the State,” Parameshwaran added.